Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mary Corn Wilkerson Dorm

March is Women's History Month

Many women have played an important role in the development of Tarleton from its' beginnings to the present, and will continue to play an important role in the future! One woman who contributed to Tarleton's history is Mary Corn Wilkerson.

Early in the history of Tarleton there was no housing for the female students. By 1908 the people of Tarleton and Stephenville recognized the need for a girls dormitory and wrote an article in the Stephenville Tribune. Mary Corn Wilkerson, "a woman of considerable wealth and a widow the second time, stepped forward to confess that she wanted to donate to a good cause."

Mary's first husband, Richard Corn, died November 28, 1898. She then married Capt. Telephus W. Wilkerson. He died April 10, 1908. After his death Mary donated 370 acres of land located near Duffau with the proceeds from the sale of the land to be used to build a women's dormitory. Located where the Hunewell Annex now stands, and facing McIlhaney, the $14,760.54 building was ready for occupancy the Fall of 1908.

The December 11, 1908 Stephenville Tribune stated that "The dormitory for John Tarleton college has been entirely finished and completely furnished, and is not only one of the best ventilated, but one of the neatest and cleanest structures in Texas used for the purpose of sheltering students who are attending college, and no doubt will be a great factor in drawing students to Tarleton college. The young women who make it their home will always be surrounded by a healthy, moral influence under the watchful care of the president of the college and his wife."

Be sure to stop by the library to view the March displays which include Women's History Month, Texas History Month, and Tarleton's International Spring Festival.

Guthrie, Christopher E., John Tarleton and His Legacy, p.33-34.
King, C. Richard, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.65-68.
The Tribune, December 11, 1908.

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